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Cybersecurity and Ransomware – What You Need to Know

ransomware photo

Business today is by far different than any other time. It is one that is fast and furious with a pronounced emphasis on online exposure and appearances. A company needs to be online to stay competitive in a world that works 23-7 as computers do. They need to know how to do business well and how to protect themselves too. Knowing this allows them to compete in a world of online use and interaction in the business world.

What Is Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity involves the steps that are taken to protect a business from attacks online. The attacks can be from a variety of issues, including viruses. Ransomware is a type of nuisance that occurs online, and a business needs to protect themselves from this. That is why they need to have cybersecurity in place at all times. Hiring professionals in cybersecurity is a must to protect the company from attacks.

What Is Meant By Ransomware?

With ransomware, the files of a victim are adversely affected by the malware that is present. During this process, the attacker asks the victim for a dollar amount of ransom to have the information in the files restored to normal. In most cases, once the ransom is paid, the victim is then able to re-access the data. There are many delays involved in ransomware attacks which cause a lot of irreparable damages to profits and expenses. They are extremely burdensome to deal with, so it is highly essential to have cybersecurity measures in place at all times to lessen the occurrence of any ransomware occurring in the first place.

A Recent, Shocking Account Of The Effects Of Ransomware

In Texas, ransomware has occurred for $2.5 million has been given for the unlocking of files. There are a total of 22 municipalities that were adversely affected by this attack. According to NPR.org, it caused a lot of upheavals. Ransomware is aiming at state and local governments at much higher rates. These attacks must be dealt with quickly and timely as they affect many people at one time.

The Effects From Ransomware Are Devastating

ransomware cyber attack on laptop

There are different ways that ransomware occurs. Ransomware deals with the affliction of certain files and information.

It is also frightening because the information that is affected is sensitive. There are a lot of implications that are negatively associated with ransomware. The threats are real, and emotionally the users are impacted negatively. They no that time is of the essence when they are dealing with the threats and implications of ransomware. Jobs can be at stake, as well as the personal information of many people. This is why the attackers feel assured that they will get what they want for the attack to stop. Their threats and real and they do so in a way to get the most money from the company.

How Does Ransomware Work?

Ransomware is accomplished in a variety of ways. They are well thought out plans that are implemented in successful ways. The attacker is after money. They are holding information at stake, and they know that it will illicit a response. Here are some of the more common ones that exist:

  1. Phishing – This is when an email comes to a person from a trusted source. They believe that the file that they receive is safe to download, but it isn’t. It is a very aggressive form of ransomware that can take over a person’s computer. It is the most popular form of ransomware.
  2. Claims – The attacker claims to have power like a law enforcement agency. They demand money to not put the information out in the public. These claims are made to inflict fear in the people that are being attacked. They are always from a source that people feel that they need to cooperate with to do the right thing. That is why they are successful in many ways.
  3. Leakware – Leakware is also called doxware. It occurs when an attacker is using the ransom threat in return for not publicizing the sensitive data on a user’s hard drive. This can be all types of personal information from bank account numbers to passwords. People are especially concerned about their privacy and the ability of the attackers to use the information to steal their identity.

Why Are Small Businesses Most At Risk With Ransomware?

Small businesses have smaller security measures in place. This doesn’t mean that they have less money or information at stake as larger ones. In many cases, the ransomware attack can ruin the smaller company because they will not be able to come back from the attack quickly enough. They need to have the cybersecurity in place so that the ransomware attack cannot happen at all.

How Much Damage Can Ransomware Attackers Make Out With?

According to CSOOnline.com, in 2017, there were 5 billion dollars of loss caused by ransomware. This was 15 times more than the losses that occurred from it in 2015. In the first quarter of 2018, there were already one million dollars in losses from one attack. The numbers are astonishing, and ransomware is occurring all the time in the current day. The need and the importance of cybersecurity are always there. Investing in the professionals that are adept at this type of work is worth it for a company to do. These experts have the ability and the knowledge to keep them safe from ransomware attacks at all times.

What Can A Company Do About Ransomware?

Smaller and larger companies alike need to worry about ransomware. It can occur at any time and knowing the ways to stop and prevent it are important to pay attention to. This is why companies, both large and small, need to be aware of the effects of ransomware and what they can do to prevent it. Here are seven ways that they can alleviate the ransomware problems:

  1. No Ransom – Companies should not pay the ransom. The attackers are funded in this way, and they can do this to other people. Even in cases where the ransom is paid, the company is not guaranteed to receive their information back.
  2. Restoration – It is important to restore the breached files from the ransomware. This will take some time, but the data must be restored. This can be accomplished by having excellent backup files in the first. Companies need to have a good backup system with their data at all times.
  3. Confidentiality – People in the company need to be observant. They need to protect their confidential information all the time. Especially with phishing, awareness is a big key to the prevention of ransomware. When they are aware of specific issues that can come with the ransomware attackers trying to get confidential information, they will be less likely to give theirs to anyone, and they will also be prompted to report it quickly.
  4. Antivirus Protection – Having antivirus protection is of the utmost importance. They should also have a protective firewall. Using a reputable for this can make a huge difference. There are many options out there, so a company needs to do their homework in order to find a good one.
  5. Scanning – Scanning is a must. This can alert a computer system to block unwanted emails at any given time. Companies need to have a system in place that will automatically scan for suspicious activity. Once again, this is something that they will have in place with their cybersecurity when the company takes action in this particular area. It cannot be overlooked because attackers will be able to infiltrate easily if it is not in place.
  6. Patching – Patching is used to keep computer systems safe from attacks. Since there are many ways that systems can be attacked, patching is done on a regular basis to stop this.
  7. Travel Planning – Employees traveling for a business need to be made aware of how to safely work on public computer systems. They will want to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) while they are doing so. This will allow them to work without the data being jeopardized in any way.

Ransomware will always be out there, and a company needs to know this and take the steps necessary to prevent it. They also need to be aware of what they should do if it should happen to them. Computers are a large part of business, and businesses will need to protect themselves at all times when they are dealing with large amounts of data that can be compromised at any time. Being aware of ransomware and being observant are key factors in dealing with the attacks and preventing them from happening in the first place.

If you are looking for a reliable cybersecurity solution company in Houston, TX, get in touch with HoustonTech IT Support today!

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